Is it worth getting a new iMac in order to have the Apple File System?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jaybar, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. jaybar, Sep 26, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017

    jaybar macrumors 6502a


    Dec 11, 2008

    We have a late 2013 27” iMac. It has 16GB of RAM. It has a 1 TB HDD. We have used 90GB of disk storage.

    We use our iMac for:

    Internet Browsing
    Apple Music streaming via iTunes
    Apple Notes
    MS Word.
    MS Excel
    Viewing photos (Photo App)

    Fairly light use, I would imagine.

    We backup using Time Machine onto two SSD drives. We have a third SSD drive, dedicated to Carbon Copy Cloner.

    Is it worth getting a new iMac, in order to take advantage of Apple’s new file system?

    Applications load slowly. However I am not sure how important that is to us. My main concern, is would we derive enough benefit from AFFS to warrant a new machine with an SSD drive? I suppose I could replace the current HDD with an SSD, but I am afraid of compatibility issues with High Sierra.

    We also got our first ATV and will use it for streaming.

    Any thoughts ?

  2. Ph.D. macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2014
    No, not just for the new file system. In fact, I'd wait for a few point revisions at least before considering changing file systems.

    But on the other hand, you might be ready for a new computer anyway. I think you would find a base 27" with 256 GB SSD to be a very nice improvement (I have the same with 512GB). Lightning-fast loads, much faster graphics and over-all responsiveness, and a wonderful screen.

    When people have gained confidence in the new file system, you will be ready for that too.
  3. EugW, Sep 26, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017

    EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Call your local computer shop and ask them for a quote to install a 256 GB SSD in your system. It should be roughly US$100 (including accessories) plus whatever they charge for the SSD. So probably around US$200-250 total, or more if you get them to transfer the data for you.

    That would make your 2013 27" iMac feel like a brand new machine, and lightning fast in comparison to what you have now.

    Either that or you could run off an external SSD. Even that would be a vast improvement over what you have now, although external SSD isn't usually an ideal solution. USB 3 external SSD has issues such as the lack of TRIM, and Thunderbolt external SSD is probably even more expensive than getting a tech to install one in the machine directly. It would easy to give USB 3 external SSD a shot though, since you already have a couple of them.

    Basically what you would do is use your CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper! and clone your main HFS+ drive to one of your existing SSDs (if it's say 180 GB or greater). And then boot off that USB SSD and see how the performance is. I suspect you'd be pleasantly surprised.

    As for compatibility issues with High Sierra for internal SSD, just stick with a mainstream SSD brand like Crucial or Samsung and you'll be OK. That's what store service techs are for anyway. They'd know if there are any compatibility issues.
  4. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    If your current system is running well, buying a new system just for APFS would be an unwise use of money, in my opinion.

    I agree with @EugW
  5. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2012
    If you're happy with current performance and have regular backups running, then I wouldn't bother replacing any of it.
  6. Pearl Wisdom macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2009
    Just upgrade your HDD with an SSD. That will make you very happy with your 2013 iMac. You might wait until the first update of High Sierra but the current upgrade reports sound like you shouldn't have a problem with your hardware even with an upgraded SSD.
  7. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    APFS won't give you much. An SSD would give you soooo much more.

    In fact I don't get why you have a HDD in your work machine, but use SSDs for backup.. It is so backwards.. o_O
  8. jaybar thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 11, 2008
    I use SSD (Glyph Atom) because they take up a fraction of my desk space and they are silent and I wanted to see how SSD drives functioned. I was previously backing up to a Time Caosule. After a while, I was getting corrupted backups on the TC. I was also using other HDD DRIVES for Carbon Copy and a second TM backup, which were occasionally failing. I got so frustrated with low cost drives, that I wanted to switch.
  9. Fishrrman, Sep 27, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017

    Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP -

    EGADS, man.

    You have external SSD's for backup?

    You should be using one of them as your EXTERNAL BOOT SSD.

    If you do this, you will improve "read speeds" by a factor of 4x or more.

    All you need to do is start booting and running from the SSD that is currently your CCC backup.
    It will look EXACTLY like the internal drive.
    But run about 4 times as fast.

    Do this, and start using the INTERNAL HDD as your "backup" of the external boot drive!


    (All shouting is intentional. I just can't believe you're doing what you're doing!)

    BTW, you can try what I suggest above without any penalty at all.
    Just reboot and hold down the option key until the startup manager appears.
    Then click on the icon for the CCC cloned backup and hit return.
    Let it boot -- observe how long it takes.
    When you get to the finder, go to "about this Mac" (Apple Menu) to be sure you're booted from the SSD.
    Now open a few apps -- observe how long that takes.
    Then, come back here and post about your experience having done so.
  10. mpConroe macrumors regular


    Feb 14, 2017
    Arbroath (UK) / Wroclaw (PL)
    I would go with buying internal SSD and swap it with your current HDD. The HDD should go to USB3 case and be used as a backup.

    Just take the computer to the service and they will update your drive. I would buy Samsung Evo SSD.

    My cousin updated the HDD to SSD cos the hard drive was dying and he also update the RAM from 4 to 12 GB and he is more than happy. The computer acts as a new one and the upgrade cost was 600 PLN, it's about $160.
  11. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    As Fishrrman mentioned you can boot directly from your SSD drive and test whether that's any faster. This will not be as fast as a new iMac with the high-speed internal SSD, but it will be a lot faster than your 1TB spinning HDD.

    Besides the application loading time, the new iMac has a retina screen which is much better than the 2013 iMac 27 screen. I have a 2013, 2015 and 2017 iMac 27 -- believe me, the retina screen is a huge improvement. If you can afford it, I'd recommend a new iMac for that reason alone.

    Otherwise your 2013 iMac is OK for the situations you mentioned. If you can boot from the external SSD, that will speed things up.
  12. SaSaSushi macrumors 601


    Aug 8, 2007
    Takamatsu, Japan
    I agree wholeheartedly with this opinion. The 5k screen was the single biggest factor in my own upgrade from a Late 2013 iMac to the 2017. These old eyes appreciate it every day.
  13. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    The question:
    "Is it worth getting a new iMac in order to have the Apple File System?"

    My answer:

    I don't consider Apple's new file system to be anything desirable at this time, and I will never install it, even on new Macs (I'll use some tricks to convert those back to HFS+ if possible).

    HFS+ has always worked fine for me, and I have numerous old apps (mostly utility-related) that won't run on APFS.

    So... why bother?
  14. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    AFPS has bugs, but it also has some really good features. I like it.

    But you can actually install it on a HD, and in the not too distant future, it will likely be the default for HD installs.

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